Ten Mobile Apps I Use in My Classroom
- Grades: 9–12
At the last couple of conferences I’ve attended, there was a lot of hype around mobile apps. With the increase in the number and affordability of mobile devices, apps have the potential to transform our classrooms. In fact, several school districts have implemented iPad programs. Continue reading for a list of ten apps I use in my classroom.
My Top Ten Mobile Apps
1. Khan Archiver
The Khan Archiver app gives you access to the 3,000 Khan Academy videos found at the Khan Academy Web site. This app allows you to watch the video or download it to view later. The ability to download videos for later can give students a huge advantage, especially if they do not have Internet access at home.
With Flipboard, users can select their favorite reading material and social networking sites and access them in one place. Flipboard is easy to use, and the reader can email articles to themselves to read at a later time. According to the app description at the Apple Store, Flipboard is “Apple’s iPad App of the Year and one of Time’s Top 50 Innovations.”
The TweetDeck app provides a tool to monitor Twitter and Facebook feeds. A user can add a search for a particular hashtag (e.g., #scholastic) and receive every post that a user “tags” with that particular term. Educational hashtags on my TweetDeck include #edtech, #mashable, #ecning, and #techcrunch. TweetDeck has become my go-to source for classroom activities and good professional development reading material.
Evernote is great for keeping all your files, notes, and Web sites organized and accessible from any computer or device. Evernote also syncs the changes you make on one device with another, and gives you the ability to collaborate with other people on projects.
The Dictionary.com app is very similar to the various online dictionaries out there. Once the app is downloaded, you don't need an Internet connection to use it. In my classroom this means students can access the same dictionary and get the same definition. It makes vocabulary lessons much easier.
I started using Dropbox on my PC last year and just discovered the app about a month ago. Dropbox allows you to compile and access documents and photos anywhere. I have students submit their essays to my Dropbox, and now with the app, I have the ability to read the essays on my iPad. This is extremely beneficial when I travel and don’t have room for my laptop.
Toontastic is geared more for younger kids, but I’ve used it on a couple of projects with my high school students. The free version is limited, but still has some useful tools. Illustrating themes with their own scenes and characters helps students understand the more difficult concepts of a plot.
8. iTalk Recorder
The iTalk Recorder can be used by students to record explanations or to record podcasts on particular topics. This app can also be useful if you want to record your lectures and make them available to students who are absent.
Maxjournal is a great app for daily diary or journal entries. This app also allows students to include photos. For the teacher, it provides a great place to brainstorm future lessons and reflect on completed ones.
Designed to match any reading level, Storia is Scholastic’s new eReading app. Currently, when you download the free Storia app, you receive five free eBooks.
See other Scholastic posts for more on the subject of mobile apps:
- "Teaching With iPhone Apps" by Megan Power
- "Creating a Tech-Savvy Kindergarten Classroom" by Sharon Taylor
- "There’s an App for That — Using iPads to Support Literacy Instruction in the Classroom" by Angela Bunyi